From Life of the Party to Barely Clinging to Life

Joey Steinberg
Staff Reporter

It’s a Saturday night and you decide you are going to go to a party. The drinks are free so you try to get as much as you can. You don’t care whether it’s Keystone or Steel Reserve because you are drinking it anyway.

Suddenly, you wake up and you feel something in your mouth, there’s a steady beep and you see nurses rushing around. You blacked out and you’re in the hospital. Your parents who live far away are there; you realize just how serious this is. Finally, someone tells you that you’ve made it to the hospital because you drank too much.

That is what happened to me. I chugged 40 ounces of vodka in less than five minutes. I blacked out, went to the hospital, died, got resuscitated, ended up in a coma, and went on a breathing machine. My dad left work early after the terrifying call from my mom: “Joey’s in bad shape, he’s in a coma.” Mom drove up from South Carolina after doctors told her I “was not going to survive the night.”

My blood alcohol count (BAC) that night was a [.47]. Fifty percent of people die with BAC’s of .4 and higher according to a study done by Virginia Tech. I missed the first day of classes because I was still in the hospital.

Can you imagine having your mom or dad getting a telephone call saying “Your child was an idiot and you probably wont talk to them ever again?” Do you want your parents getting that call? As a college, we need to look out for everyone at these parties.

If it weren’t for my friend who took me to the hospital I would be dead.

Dead, so you could never read this article.

Dead, like I never graduate college.

My friend said he almost wasn’t going to take me because he “didn’t want to get into trouble.” If he didn’t take me, I would have been dead, and a death is a lot more serious of a crime then underage drinking.

Most people end up binge drinking because of bets and dares. That’s why I drank the vodka that night. I won, but in the end I guess I really ended up losing. My life has completely changed since that night. I don’ t go out and party now because it is not worth losing my life. It is not worth my dad and mom wondering whether they told me they loved me last or not; it is not worth the bills it cost to have your life saved.

So for those of us who don’t want to get caught up in drinking at parties there are a few ways to make it known. Try simple statements like, “I really can’t. I have a huge test tomorrow,” or “if you would have seen me last night, you would know why I’m not drinking now.”

And for those people reading this article thinking, “this won’t happen to me” — what the hell do you think I used to think.

A week after my incident there was another student who drank too much and got poisoned. He never thought that would happen to him, until he was in the hospital with family and friends. A study done by USA Today showed that freshmen account for 33 percent of deaths in college students, and they only make up about 24 percent of the college population. Freshmen are at a much higher risk because the freedoms they get from being at home.

Here are some examples from the USA Today article with some freshmen who never made it to sophomore status because of alcohol. Jonathon Thielen was a freshman at the University of Minnesota: he fell of a bunk bed and told his friends he would be okay. They gave him a pillow and a few hours later he died of serious brain injury. Brett Griffin, a freshman at the University of Delaware died November 8, three months ago, at a fraternity party he was looking at pledging.

Two different places, two different injuries, both with the same outcome of death.

If you don’t want to wake up to that steady beep, the nurses rushing around and your dad telling you “it’ll be okay, just relax,” be smart about your drinking.